Gabriel is such a great big brother to Jade. He loves her with all his heart and tells her this daily. They play well together, with her trying to emulate everything that he does. If he is playing with dinosaurs then she wants to play with dinosaurs. If he is playing with LEGOs, then she wants to play with LEGOs. If he is coloring with markers, then she wants to color with markers too. He also protects her and takes care of her when she falls down or needs help with something. He says she is the baby sister he always wanted.
Gabriel also remembers what it was like before Jade. Before he had to share toys, story time, snuggles or even war paint. He can get irritated with her a little more quickly at times. I asked him about this one day. What could he do to help with his patience and understanding? He said that he needed to remember that she was just a little person and hadn’t been on this earth as many years as he. He had a point…7 years is more than 2 years.
What did he need from me? His answer surprised me, though thinking back to when I was a little girl with little sisters, it really shouldn’t have.
What Gabriel said he needed was alone time…not by himself, but with myself and Papa. He wanted a dinner with just the three of us. Then I asked Gabriel what would make the night special. He said to have hamburgers wrapped in lettuce with french fries, pineapple, and to snuggle on the couch with us and watch the movie “The Black Stallion” because we had just finished the book….and that is exactly what we did.
Jade stayed at a friends house and we spent the evening cuddled on the couch talking about the differences between “The Black Stallion” book and the movie. By the way, we were particularly upset that they killed off Alecs dad in the movie and that Napoleon was portrayed as a white horse, when he was supposed to be a grey horse. There were many more discrepancies, but I told him that this was exactly why you read the book first and watched the movie last. Then you could appreciate what really happened in the story, and appreciate the movie separately.
And so, while this was a fantastic night with a great kid, it will not be the last. We will be sure to have these types of evenings on a regular basis. I feel it was beneficial not only for Gabriel, but for Mama and Papa as well.